Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

I had a mix of good days and poor days writing wise this week, but in the end it all managed to even out and I remain ahead of track to complete the 1,000,000 word goal this year.  Finished off another rewrite and another rough draft.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words. Output: 3677.  Overall total: 22705(Target: 21000).

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7023. Overall total: 43895(Target: 42000).

Block 3: Target: 10500 words. Output: 10522.  Overall total: 86828(Target: 63000).

2014 total to date: 153428 (Target: 126000).  Daily average: 3653 words.

This week didn’t go as well as it could have.  Still got writing done, but a couple of days of work ate up some of the time.  I fell short on the rewrite quota for the week, but the words in the bank have kept me ahead.

 

Block 1: Target: 3500 words. Output: 3702.  Overall total: 19028 (Target: 17500).

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7139. Overall total: 36872 (Target: 35000).

Block 3: Target: 10500 words. Output: 9078.  Overall total: 76306 (Target: 52500).

2014 total to date: 132735 (Target: 105000).  Daily average: 3792 words.

 

January is now over and it is time to take stock of the last month.

In terms of writing, I have never done more.  The grand total was 120203 words written.  Those were split the following way.

16878 words were written on the background notes for the epic fantasy series I’ve started working on.  That covers the history leading up to around the time the books will be starting.  From now the notes will be a little more detailed and will start to sketch the outlines of the stories.

32769 words were on rough drafts and outlines.  I wrote up short outlines for 14 stories, as well as finishing off 2 previously started rough drafts and completing 2 new rough drafts of short fiction.

70556 words were of rewrites of old rough drafts.  I now have 1 novella, 6 novelettes and 2 short stories finished, with another 2 novelettes in the process of being rewritten.  Those are split between three of my short fiction series – The Chronicles of the White Bull, The Deeds of Peregrine and Blade and The Adventures of Sir Richard Hammerman.

During this month I hope to proofread/edit them, get them covers and publish them.

We are now four weeks into the year.  Yes really.  Time does fly.  Apart from one day I’ve hit all the quotas again and kept the word count above what is needed.  Which is good, as from tomorrow I’ll have less time on my hands.  There was one day during the week that I didn’t hit all 3 quotas set.  A few things happened that day, those behing going out to meet some people and have a meal, car troubles,which resultes in it being towed, weekly grocery shopping and of course spending time with my wife.  Days like that are why I have extra words banked up.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words. Output: 3754.  Overall total: 15326

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7485. Overall total: 29733

Block 3: Target: 10500 words. Output: 14848.  Overall total: 67288

2014 total to date: 112287.  Daily average: 4010 words.

I was reading various news articles yesterday and I came upon one about a naturally occurring eternal flame burning behind a waterfall – and science has no idea how it is produced.  Which got me thinking about how a place like that would fit perfectly in a fantasy setting.  Fantasy worlds often have places of wonder in them, where strange phenomena produce all manner of natural marvels.

Now given that they are rare and unusual, even for fantasy worlds, they would attract attention, and any visit there is not likely to find the place abandoned, unless in a really dangerous and out-of-the-way place, and not always then.  Consider the climb up Mt Huashan in China, arguably the most dangerous tourist walk in the world.  People have been travelling along narrow plank walkways hammered into the side of cliffs for 700 years there.

So even the most remote places of wonder could have visitors.  You could have hermits and mystics and pilgrims there, merchants taking advantage of it to make a profit or even villages and towns built up around it.  Consider something like an eternal flame.  Maybe an enterprising dwarf tribe has set up there and have used it to power their metalworking business.  Free fire means lesser costs coupled with superior dwarven quality.  A win for all.  Well, the dwarves at least.

So when creating these places of wonder in your worlds, consider how the locals would react to it – and how they might try to make a profit from it.

During the third week, as I mentioned previous, I ran into a spot of bother with the computer, which led me to think around 5 days of work was inaccessible.  Luckily I was able to recover it all and was able to continue making all the quotas I’d set.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words.  Output: 3891.  Overall total: 11572

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7570.  Overall total: 22248

Block 3: Target 10500 words.  Output: 17102.  Overall total: 52380.

2014 total to date: 86200.  Daily average: 4104 words.

The total required for the month to stay on target for 1,000,000 words was 84940, so I have already passed that.  If I keep up the current rate, I’ll make around 120,000, which will help offset later times when I may not be able to hit the quota.

So there I was, having a good day – and then I went to turn on the computer to do the rest of the day’s quota of writing.  What did I get?  Nothing good at all.

An error message popped up saying that the computer had failed to boot.  Never a good thing to see.  I spent a number of hours working on it only to realise that it wasn’t going to work.  On top of that, my most recent backup of stories was 5 days previous so around 20,000 words is stuck on the computer inaccessible.

After a bit more testing, it appears that something has happened to the harddrive, either a bad sector or it is failing or has failed.  I am hoping it is not the later.  I have a lot of files I’d like to get off.  Not just writing, but movies, music, photos, games etc and so on.

If it is just the hard drive, I may be able to afford a replacement for that, but not the computer.  Financially things are tight and I can’t justify the expense of a brand new computer.  It has thrown a spanner in the works, but one I will overcome somehow.

 

Two weeks into the year already – where does time go?  Before long the free time will be gone and I won’t be able to write as much, so I’m trying to take as much advantage of it as I can.  But the writing is going great so far and I have hit every goal quota each day for all three blocks.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words.  Output: 3784.  Overall total: 7681

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7460.  Overall total: 14678

Block 3: Target 10500 words.  Output: 15593.  Overall total: 35278.

Daily average: 4117 words.

During the week, I finished the rewrites of a couple of short stories/novelettes, finished the rough draft of another story that might be close to novella length when the rewrite is done and did a big part of another rough draft, and wrote out rough outlines for fourteen new short stories/novelettes.  A decent week overall.

We are already one week down in the new year, and so one week into the million words in a year challenge.  And so far I am doing better than expected.

For the week, I was aiming to do the following;

Block 1: 3500 words (Setting Document)

Block 2: 7000 words (New Drafts)

Block 3: 10500 words (Rewrites)

Total: 21000 words

What I did was;

Block 1: 3897 words

Block 2: 7218 words

Block 3: 19685 words

Total: 30800 words.

 

As you an see I exceeded all the targets and currently have almost 10000 words in the bank for slower days – and they will come.  Being on holidays does give more time to write than normal.

I haven’t posted much for a while, for a number of reasons.  I’d been studying full time most of last year.  Then three months ago I got married and moved across country, which was a big change to the system.  I’m now settling into the new life, and with 2014 just starting, are making plans for the coming year.  Program subject to change as they say.

One of my early projects is to tidy up this and my other blogs, to get them running again.  I plan to make this one more of a general interest bog, while the others are focused on writing.

As for writing, this year I am aiming ludicrously high.  If I fail, it will still result in a good output.  My main aim is to do the million word challenge.  That is, to write 1,000,000 words over the course of 2014.  It sounds a lot, but works out to around 2740 words per day, which is manageable.  To help this, I am breaking it down into 3 blocks per day.

Block 1: 500 words/day on the setting master document for a new epic fantasy series I want to write.  The setting master document will cover the setting, history, characters, plots and so on for the series, and by years end should be around 180,000 words in length.  More on that one in the future.

Block 2: 1000 words/day of new drafts. This is the writing of first drafts for new stories.  Very rough, getting down the core of the stories.

Block 3: 1500 words/day of rewrites.  Taking old and rough drafts, I will rewrite them, tidy them up, flesh out their skeletons and make them readable.

Depending on work/study/other commitments, these are rough guidelines.  Some days I may do more, others less.

That is the word count done.

I am planning to temporarily pull down my stories, fix them up and re-release them with new covers etc, along with a whole heap of new stories.  By the years end I hope to have 56 short stories/novelettes/novellas and 3 short novels up.  Of those I have 24 short stories and 1 short novel done.  So by that count I need to write 32 new short stories and 2 short novels.

It’ll be a challenge, but unless I set myself one I won’t aim for anything.

Hopefully I’ll provide weekly, or at least monthly, updates.